Saturday, May 01, 2010

Customers search for better service, but won't find it with Intelius

Intelius, founded by Naveen Jain, who is best known for his work at Microsoft, has gone down in history as one of the world’s largest dot com scams in history. Intelius was promoted as a way for individuals and companies to verify identities and get basic search information about a person or business at a reasonable price. Their basic package, which came as a trial product, would give you the bare minimum, but when you signed up for their premium package, you were supposed to be given access to even more information.

That was not the case.

Many of the businesses and individuals who signed up for Intelius’ service found that none of the information found on the site was accurate at all. To test it, people who ran searches on themselves, were to find out that their suspicions were true and that none of the data was correct. Bad business practices led to many people demanding refunds from the company, yet when they called the customer care line, many of them got a disconnect message. After calling around, finally finding a number that did connect them to someone, they were told to read over their trial membership agreements better and that the service was fine. Those who demanded a refund were then charged with termination fees. Even those who chose to end the service before that the trial had expired and found them stuck with penalties and fees they were never made aware of. In some cases, the customer was told that the trial would be canceled, only to find even higher charges appear on their credit card bill the following month.

Thousands of complaints have been lodged against the company for not providing the services the initial product advertised it could provide, but very few of the complaints were ever resolved. There are still many former Intelius customers disputing charges made by the company.